Visiting the Eve Branson Foundation and kiting in Dakhla
We were delighted to spend time at Kasbah Tamadot, our magical Virgin Limited Edition retreat up in the Atlas Mountains in Morocco.
My wife Joan and son Sam joined me on our first trip to Kasbah since my mum Eve passed away. It was a very beloved place for mum, where she spent a lot of time and founded the wonderful Eve Branson Foundation (EBF), so it was a special visit for our family.
In 1998, while I was preparing for a ballooning expedition, my parents discovered Kasbah Tamadot. Mum had tea with the owner, fell in love with the place and told me she would disown me if I didn’t buy it!
She also went into the local village and began a small knitting group. The concept for EBF came from that: to help empower the local community near Kasbah Tamadot to be able to make a living, while preserving their rich Berber heritage.
We were fortunate to see all of the brilliant team working for the EBF and I got to meet the people making beautiful garments and woodwork sculptures.
I was sure to buy some blankets to bring back to Necker Island too. You can also get some delightful EBF products yourself on Virgin Red’s app.
Over 98% of the team at Kasbah are from local Berber villages and many have worked with us for since the resort first opened. As ever, they created a remarkably warm and welcoming atmosphere and made the trip unforgettable.
As ever, I was sure to make my days as active as possible and we enjoyed some memorable cycles through the majestic mountains surrounding Kasbah. As you can see in this video, the winding paths and steep inclines made for some challenging bike rides in the most stunning of settings.
Then we decided to check out a place called Dakhla, on the Western Sahara coast, which is renowned for kitesurfing. There are spectacular lagoons, and the year-round wind makes for perfect conditions. A group of us kited down the African coast for two and a half hours. While there is nothing quite like kiting at my home in the British Virgin Islands, it was such a unique setting and we enjoyed spectacular kiting.
We then spent the night in a fun little hotel with lots of other kitesurfers. Everyone else was rather younger than yours truly - I became a teenager again for 24 hours! But, regardless of your age, I’d recommend a trip to Dakhla, and of course to Kasbah Tamadot.